September 9th, 2008
04:41 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain camp launches ‘Palin Truth Squad’

McCain has launched the 'Palin Truth Squad' to dispel rumors about her.

McCain has launched the 'Palin Truth Squad' to dispel rumors about her.

(CNN) - John McCain’s campaign defended Sarah Palin Tuesday over a report that highlighted some of her travel expense claims as governor, and announced the launch of the “Palin Truth Squad” to fight future attacks on the VP nominee.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Alaska governor had billed the state a per diem for 312 days she spent at home, and requested reimbursement for plane rides and hotel rooms for her husband and children, including a $707 room when her daughter accompanied her on a trip to New York to attend a Newsweek forum.

The paper noted that officials said the claims were justified under existing state regulations.

The McCain campaign said that Palin had reduced yearly travel expenses by roughly 80 percent of the amount spent by predecessor Frank Murkowski, in part by selling the governor’s private jet. Roughly half the $93,000 spent went to cover expenses incurred by her family. In a post on the campaign’s Web site, adviser Michael Goldfarb told supporters that Alaskans were paying “pennies on the dollar,” and accused the Washington Post of “hunting for ‘scandal.’”

“As governor of the state, Palin is expected to travel across Alaska to meet her constituents and attend community events. As a mother of five, she occasionally brought her children with her,” wrote Goldfarb. “Her travel-related activities have been appropriately documented, are completely transparent, and entirely legal. She also saved Alaskan taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in the budgeting process and hundreds of thousands in cutting waste from her own office. It is an impressive record of reform by any measure.”

The McCain-Palin team has made her record on cost-cutting a central element of her vice presidential bid.

The campaign — which has been sending “fight the smears” e-mails whose tone echoes similar messages from Barack Obama’s campaign — also said staffers and major campaign surrogates at the state and national level were forming an official rapid response team that will respond to rumors about the Republican vice presidential nominee, sending alerts and campaign statements to voters and reporters.

“We will not allow those on the left and in the media to smear a woman who has always served her constituents with honor,” the campaign said in a statement. “We know the truth and are committed to ensuring it as well."

The McCain-Palin team has campaigned on media coverage that they describe as excessive or unfair.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (373 Responses)
  1. Ron

    isn't sad that the news media is so miffed at gov Palin, for not doing interviews with them, that they and the democrats, are spending untold amounts of money and resources, to dig up dirt on her. the fact that she has done more for her state than most governors,. is not news. the fact that she has an 80% approval rating is not news. vindictiveness and petty jealousy, is news to us, and makes us see the democrats and the media in a new light

    September 9, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. absoltey no palin, georgia

    however, there is good news in alaska.

    they do have a higher high school dropout rate than we do here in georgia.

    it's good, cause it keeps us off the bottom of the list.

    did both palin and mccain go to school in alaska?

    September 9, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. TJ in Texas (Dallas)

    THAT'S REALITY needs to snap back to reality... and soon. Palin is nuts!

    September 9, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. CJ

    It's amazing that you have to do all of that for someone who is only the VP. That's because she can't defend herself. Same reason she hasn't been on any talk shows, sunday political shows, etc. Its because she doesnt have the ability to defend herself. Just goes to prove that his pick was the wrong pick. Yes, it's deflecting American voters from focusing on the issues and focusing on poor helpless VP candidate Sarah Palin with her Bridge to Nowhere T-shirt wearing self!

    September 9, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Former Hillary Supporter Voting 4 McCain

    RIP Olbermann's Smear Squad.

    You all should have nominated Hillary while you had a chance.

    Hillary 2012.

    September 9, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. Heywood Dj'Blome

    Looks like the Obamarites are out in full force today! Things aren't always black or white, sometimes they really are grey. You'll have a better chance if you recognize what is true and accept what is false.

    September 9, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. Former Hillary supporter voting for Obama

    To all Pumas,

    You really need to wake up and understand if the dems lose this election, there will be so much back lash that HILLARY will never get to run again. This Palin person is against everything we have been fighting for. I am ashamed that you once supported Hillary, and I'm sure she is ashamed of you as well.

    September 9, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. DeNel - Dallas, TX

    New Alert!

    The McSame camp accusing the blogs, print and visual media of conspiring to tarnish Gov Palin’s record has almost run it coarse. Based on some basic research of her record it appears she had done an affective job herself.

    September 9, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. Annette

    Palin "truth squad", I thought your campaign was country first, not Palin first??? McCain camp have made this a Gov. Palin crusade... ONCE AGAIN THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU MCCAIN, GOV. PALIN, SEN. BIDEN OR SEN. OBAMA. GET IT! THIS IS ABOUT OUR ECONOMY OUR WAY OF LIFE, OUR FUTURE STATE OF THE UNION.

    September 9, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. Matt from Canada

    Oh my!!! I think both sides have to learn to play well in the sandbox. Obama doesnt know what the hell is going on. Lets stop spreading rumours and get all the candidates to talk about issues and what they are going to do for the former Super Power. Im sick of the whining.

    September 9, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. Republican for Obama

    Should be called the "Palin Liar Squad" or "Spinmeisters for Palin"

    September 9, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. unhipcat

    McCain: "Palin not as corrupt as previous Republican governor."

    September 9, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. laura

    Room service – Free
    Travel – Free
    Taxpayers paying for it – Priceless

    September 9, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Brenda in Detroit

    Karl Rove's hands are all over this. Everything is off limits with this woman – can't ask questions, can't touch any subjects or someone from the McCain campaign will scream sexism. It's OK though for people to question Obama, his wife, their religion, their race and then make comments about all of these things. By the way, when did the GOP start embracing unwed teen pregnancy? There, I said it – it is one of those subjects no one is allowed to mention. Hmm.

    September 9, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |

    What about the truth regarding her believing the Earth was created 7000 years ago?

    What about the truth regarding her being a Warrior for God?

    September 9, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. alittleskeptic

    Too bad McCain didn't take the time and make the same effort to set up a truth squad for the purpose of vetting Palin before he put her on his ticket. Just a little bit of digging would have uncovered the truth of her stand on "the Bridge" and other stories coming out now.

    September 9, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. Holly from Minnesota

    So if a man was the governor of Alaska, and he insisted on bringing his entire family along with him on business trips at the taxpayers' expense, would it be acceptable? If so, there are a lot of politicians out there missing out on some great family vacation opportunities!

    September 9, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. glory brandl

    Sara palin may have saved Alaska monies but etchically she should not have taken her children unless she paid for them herself. Other government workers have been fired and put in jail for actions like that. Where's the law in Alaska? This needs to be addressed. If you cheat on little things and let her to Washington She'lll cheat on the big things.

    September 9, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  19. ohio

    The first violators of the truth will be MCCAIN ,PALIN

    What an OXYMORON lol
    This people wouldnt know the truth if it walked up to them dresses like a moose !!!!

    September 9, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Amanda from GA

    As an independent, I would encourage everyone to tune in to Gibson's interview with Palin to find out more about where she stands on the economy, education, healthcare, etc.

    CNN seems bent on reporting only their interpretation of the news. Just report newsworthy items and let us form our own opinion. Do all democrats let CNN do their thinking for them? You wouldn't know otherwise by reading most of the previously posted comments.

    The bottom of the ticket matter less than the top. I'm waiting for some clear indication that Barack deserves my vote. I'd like to give it to him, but wish that Biden was on top (even though he's been in Washington a long time....)

    September 9, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. Griff

    I can't see why Sarah would say things, if they wern't the truth. She ddon't have any reason to lie... She is #2 Rep. She has the ticket..

    September 9, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. Former Hillary Supporter Voting 4 McCain

    Obamabot Whaaambulance:

    Remember when your candidate started his alleged "truth squad" b/c you couldn't handle things? Sounds hypocritical of you to spread lies about Palin now, doesn't it?

    September 9, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. helen

    how about she defend herself? why hide behind a truth squad and have grandpa mccain answer for her? what a disgrace she is to the womens' movement.

    September 9, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. J from DC

    Yes John McCain is switching his colors and talk to match Obama's. Conservative Republicans are running as Democrats now. But be not fooled. This is not the reason for his recent poll bumps.

    Stop looking for dirt on Palin because she is clean, maybe vindictive at best. The hard reality is that women identify with her because she looks and feels familiar to them. The problem is that they really can’t see how different she is from most of them. When they switch the Supreme Court next year, pro-choice goes out the window with it. But not for 4 years, but for the next 20 years. That is the wool being pulled over women’s eyes.

    Problem is, women are not carrying this critical issue (their right to choose) in the forefront of their minds. They won’t get it tell it’s too late, and after the price for Palins seat proves too expensive in personal rights.

    September 9, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. Obama 08: White, 60 yr old female

    A truth squad would have more substance is Governor Palin would actually talk to the press. Why is it that she can't speak to the press herself?? Not a softball interview with ABC but a PRESS CONFERENCE!!

    All the whining from the McCain campaign is pathetic; the two of them have done nothing but attack and smear since this woman was introduced at the convention.

    Why is the campaign so silent about the false claims about the infamous bridge and earmarks?? Let's have some truth about that.

    She was an incompetent mayor...22 million dollars in debt after her term while the town was debt free when she took office...and that with 22 million plus earmarks...for a town of 7 000...imagine if every town in the United States lobbied for that kind of money!!

    September 9, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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